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Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D.
Claudius was one of the most capable, yet unlikely emperors. Shunned as an idiot by his family due to a limp and embarrassing stutter, Claudius spent the first decades of his life absorbed in scholarly studies until the death of his nephew Caligula. After Caligula's murder, the Praetorian Guard found him hiding behind a curtain in the Imperial Palace, expecting to be murdered. Instead, the guard proclaimed him emperor. His reign was marred by personal catastrophes, most notably promiscuity and betrayal by his third wife. He governed well and conquered the troublesome island of Britain. He was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina Jr., mother of Nero.
|The Roman curule chair was for senior magistrates including dictators, masters of the horse, consuls, praetors, censors, and the curule aediles. As a form of a throne, it might be given as an honor to foreign kings recognized formally as a friend (amicus) by the Roman people or senate. Designed for use by commanders in the field, the curule chair could be folded for easy transport. In Gaul, the Merovingian successors to Roman power employed the curule seat as an emblem of their right to dispense justice. Their Capetian successors also retained the iconic seat. The "Throne of Dagobert," of cast bronze retaining traces of gilding, is conserved in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. First mentioned in the 12th century, it was already a treasured relic on which the Frankish kings sat to receive the homage of their nobles after they had assumed power. The "Throne of Dagobert" was used for the coronation of Napoleon.|